At the core of the upcoming Ted Lasso season 3, we find one giant cause of anxiety. Yes, fictional soccer team AFC Richmond is done with knocking on the Premier League’s door, having been elevated to the big table. But that just seems to be the beginning of a larger headache.
The latest reveal for the new season came in the form of a mostly speech-less new Ted Lasso season 3 trailer, which you can watch below. Everyone from Ted to the Richmond team to even Nate is on shaky territory for much of the trailer. From Ted's anxiety hitting again on the field to the ongoing drama with Roy and Keeley, nothing seems quite as optimistic as it once was.
So, having watched that trailer about a dozen times, I've whittled my demands for the new season — topics I believe we should get some clues and answers to early on — down to five questions.
Here's what's got me worried — in the best way — about Ted Lasso season 3.
1. Where is Ted Lasso going?
My biggest frustration with The Mandalorian season 3 premiere episode was that the series felt aimless and thematically flat. Ted Lasso's never had a problem with those issues, but that Mando episode has me just thinking about how shows are best when they know where they're going. And since we know Ted Lasso's stories are meant to end after this season, I have faith they know where they're going — which is why I want to watch Ted Lasso season 3.
As to why this matters, just take the word of Craig Mazin (The Last of Us, Chernobyl), who told Collider (opens in new tab) "I write to endings. Endings are everything to me. I don’t know how to write, if I don’t know how it ends. And also, if the show doesn’t have an ending, it means nothing ultimately is truly purposeful."
And while the obvious destination is some sort of championship game in the Premier League, you don't need to be a soccer expert to know that's the last of Ted's concerns. He's always been about the people. And the people in AFC Richmond, and those they're connected to, have always had their fair share of drama.
In short: I'm very curious what Ted Lasso wants this year. Especially since it's well known that Ted Lasso season 3 is the final season, at least for the main story (spinoffs are still possible).
2. What’s going on with Roy Kent and Keeley?
Last we saw once-lovebirds Keeley Jones (Juno Temple) and Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein), things were not looking good. Not for their careers mind you: Keeley's starting her own PR business, and Roy's finding that he enjoys working in the coaching ranks at Richmond.
But it certainly feels like all of the relationship drama and the love triangle situation with Jamie Tartt (Phil Dunster) is far from over. And this one below shot from the season 3 trailer, which is preceded by Jamie walking in, has me needing to know what the current state of the former power couple of Richmond is.
And while I have thought they're great for each other (and, well, more about Jamie below), I just need to better understand why a breakup is seemingly looming. It feels like we've yet to understand some part of their inner drama, something that season 3 will hopefully explain.
3. Can Ted Lasso make us feel bad for Nate?
Nathan "Nate" Shelley (Nick Mohammed) probably seemed like an unlikely villain to some, and so his betrayal of Ted's trust — telling the press about Lasso's panic attacks that forced him to leave a game — was one of the most shocking heel turns (those moments where the good become villains) in recent memory.
But this series has always done a good job of showing the process of how Nate's inferiority complex has been building up. Now, with Rupert Mannion (Anthony Head) at West Ham United, and bearing an evil-ish makeover complete, Nate "The Great" looks built to hate.
But as that aforementioned Ted Lasso season 3 trailer's already shown, Nate seems to have something I'll call soul-seller's remorse. And he's even got that window table he's coveted that he wanted to dine at with his parents. But none of it seems to be good enough.
This, though, isn't enough to either make us relate to the guy, or feel bad for him. And I am very curious to see what kind of redemption story (and I'll bet there will be one) Nate gets.
4. Is Jamie Tartt ready to lead?
After a series of emotional moments in season 2, which arguably peaked when his boorish father made an arse of himself in the Richmond locker room, Jamie Tartt may be ready to lead. In the trailer for the new season, we saw him as something of a leader.
No, not in pushing Richmond to a victory, but embracing the love inside the team, turning Sam Obisanya (Toheeb Jimoh)'s statement "I love you guys so very much," into a group chant.
While this season definitely will see Roy do more in the coaching position, it seems that Jamie may take his turn as the heart and soul of Richmond. While he's already experimented with being an un-selfish player, there's more room for his growth.
5. Is Richmond going for the trophy or survival?
Premier League teams that have recently escaped relegation typically have one goal: keep their risen ranks. It's not hard to imagine why, moving from the kids table to the adults table means increased competition, and it's unclear Richmond will be able to play with the big kids.
That said, Ted Lasso is a TV series, and one that is likely in its last season. The big feel-good ending, of course, would see the team somehow be a true Cinderella story and make it to the endgame of the season and win.
But as you can see in the trailer, Richmond doesn't seem to be doing that well on the field. This is why I'll be curious how the early episodes set the expectations of owner Rebecca and the Richmond faithful at the pub, who can be awfully demanding.
Me? I just want great TV. You don't need a championship (or an award) to do that. Just ask The Wire's David Simon.